Research Sources
      
www.ancestry.com available by subscription or free in some libraries, etc. contains US Census, and many other sources; contains Roots Web http://www.newlondonhistory.org New London Historical Society, New London, CT
http://www.susqcohistsoc.org Susquehanna County Historical Society, 2 Monument Sq., Montrose, PA 18801; 570-278-1881 http://www.resources.rootsweb.ancestry.com/usa/pa/luzerne Luzerne County Historical Society
http://www.health.state.pa.us/vitalrecords You must state that birth and death certificates are for genealogical purposes. For records 1906 to present there is a nominal fee. Earlier records must be obtained at the appropriate court houses.  www.familysearch.org For genealogical research using the LDS Resources (Latter Day Saints or Mormons)
DAR members can access www.members.dar.org genealogy resources.   http://www.armstrongcountyhistoricalsociety.org/  Has information on many families who went west.

 

 Tips for Tracing Your Family Tree

1. You're number one. Start with yourself; your full name, date of birth and marriage, etc., the full names and dates of your parents.

2. Keep the record straight. Use file cards, loose-leaf notebook or another system. Enter all the information you find so that you can find it again when you need it. 

3. One step at a time, prove the facts as you go. don't skip generations. Connect all the generations to each other. 

4. Pencil versus pen. You need both. Keep unproved records in pencil so they can be changed. Don't make a permanent record till you're sure.

5. It's a family affair. Enlist the help of relatives. If they're nearby visit them. If they're far away, write or email. Get reacquainted with distant cousins. Learn their family traditions. Ask questions.

6. Dates are vital. Exact dates of birth, death, marriage may be found in family Bibles, tombstones, and in state, federal or local records. Approximate ages appear in the census. Try every source.

7. Census records since 1850 show state of birth, family migration. Newspaper obituaries, county histories, some land and probate records also give clues to residences. 

8. Where there's a will. Probate records can be proof positive of a relationship. Even when there's no will, records of estate settlements may show heirs and relationships. 

9. Names on the land. Land transactions have been recorded with great care through most of our history. Records of deeds may show not only owners, but heirs and relationships on both sides. Tax lists help. Also look at the neighbors, they might be relatives. 

10. Pension papers pay dividends. They're full of dates and places. If an ancestor served in any war, it's on record. You can get a copy. 

11. Check the churches. Some denominations kept baptismal, marriage, burial records, others didn't. But some who didn't may have adjacent cemeteries with the data you need carved in stone. 

12. Learn to love libraries. It may be that much of your research has already been done and is waiting for you right in your local library, in books or on microfilm. 

Source: Jeannette Brownell's Potter Family History Newsletter         home           back        next